International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology (IJMET

)
Volume 8, Issue 2, February 2017, pp. 56–69 Article ID: IJMET_08_02_008
Available online at http://www.iaeme.com/IJMET/issues.asp?JType=IJMET&VType=8&IType=2
ISSN Print: 0976-6340 and ISSN Online: 0976-6359
© IAEME Publication

DESIGN AND OPTIMIZATION OF SUBMERSIBLE
PUMP IMPELLER
A. Joe Ajay
Scholar, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Karunya University, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India

S. Elizabeth Amudhini Stephen
Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics,
Karunya University, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India

ABSTRACT
Open well submersible pumps are relatively new product in the family of centrifugal
pumps. These pumps are immersed in the working fluid unlike the conventional centrifugal
pumps. Optimization of the design of the impeller without changing the diameter is one
difficult task as it would not allow much increase in the head, hence the diameters are kept
constant and the objective was formulated to improve the head claimed by the industry, by
minimising the head losses that are particular to the impeller. The impeller design parameters
are optimized using optimization algorithms such as GA,SA,PS etc and the optimized values
are used for design of new impeller. This design is then tested using commercially available
CFD package Ansys CFX with k-epsilon, k-epsilon EARMS and SST turbulence models.
Key words: Non-traditional optimization, Shape optimization, Turbo machinery, Centrifugal
pump.
Cite this Article: A. Joe Ajay and S. Elizabeth Amudhini Stephen. Design and Optimization
of Submersible Pump Impeller. International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and
Technology, 8(2), 2017, pp. 56–69.
http://www.iaeme.com/ijmet/issues.asp?JType=IJMET&VType=8&IType=2

1. INTRODUCTION
General methodologies to improve design of conventional systems are: inverse design and
optimization. Inverse design involves by defining the pressure distribution along the blades of the
impeller. In any pump system, there are always losses which are added to the overall performance of
the system [1]. These losses can be categorized as: Electrical, Hydraulic and Mechanical losses. An
attempt has been made in this research work to improve the head of the pump, by minimizing the
hydraulic losses. Another way of defining the optimizing the design is by reducing the losses involved
in the system. Evolutationary mathematical optimization techniques such as Genetic Algorithm,
Particle swarm optimization etc., are used for design optimization [2]. Which involve non-linear
mathematical model and found to be effective in terms of time, accuracy & maximixed result.

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A. Joe Ajay and S. Elizabeth Amudhini Stephen

2. LITERATURE AND INFERENCES
There has been numerous work carried out on optimization of impeller design of the pump. [1] uses,
Theoretical model is described to predict the centrifugal pump performance when its impeller is
equipped with splitters. Methodology used compares the constructional differences of the pump
equipped with splitter blades as compared with the conventional pump. Hydraulic loss analysis were
done to predict the performance of centrifugal pumps. [3] has found the losses associated with the
performance of the pump and used to theoretically estimate the head of the pump and validate with
experimentation. [4] uses, artificial bee colony algorithm for optimization of the impeller and has
shown an improvement of 3.59% in efficiency. [5] has done study on the performance of the pump by
varying the outlet angle as the design parameter. [6] has used trial and error method and optimized the
head of the pump using CFD analysis.[7] has used orthogonal array and varied the design parameters
and found their effectiveness in the head of the pump through CFD.

2.1. OBSERVATIONS FROM LITERATURES
• 1-D study is used for vane design.
• Larges radius makes more head.
• Changes in the outlet vane angle changes the efficiency of the impeller.
• Optimum vane angle is achieved step by step with different CAD models
• Rotational momentum equation has to be solved for turbo machines in CFD

3. METHODOLOGY
From the research gap postulated in section 2, The procedure to optimize the pump design is discussed
in the following section. A market available pump of 5HP rating was taken for study and it was found
that the submersible pump has a delivery head of 25m, Hence objective was formulated to improve
this delivery head. First and foremost the head formulation for the pump with losses will be done. This
is followed by CFD analysis of the existing design. The second part was to choose the optimization
technique to use for optimization, those chosen techniques will be used for optimization. The final part
involves the CFD analysis of the optimized design of the impeller.

Study on existing design

CFD of existing impeller design

Head Optimization using Matlab

CFD study on optimized impeller

Figure 1 Methodology

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Design and Optimization of Submersible Pump Impeller

4. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.1. Head Formulation
In order to optimize the head, the head of the pump has been formulated. From Euler's equation for
turbo machinery the head of the centrifugal pump without whirl is given as [4]:
Hth = (1)
The head losses identified are:
Circulation head Loss: As described in [1], circulation is caused by increase in relative velocity at inlet
and decrease in relative velocity at the outlet of the impeller ,
Hc = (2)
Inlet incidence loss: has been calculated as described in [1]
.
Hi = (3)
Impeller friction loss: A s described in [5] due to surface of the impeller and vanes the there would be
emery dissipation and this would be given as
Hf = × ×
(4)
Where

The hydraulic radius Hr =

Hence the net total head with losses will be:

Hnet = Hth − Hc − Hi − Hf (5)

4.2. CFD Analysis
In the process of design, the pre final step would be the simulation process that would be CFD analysis
of the impeller to find the head for the duty point discharge. In order to validate the optimized model
the initial step would be to simulate the existing design and check with the mathematical model
prepared. Initially the existing design impeller was measured for the design parameters and is follows:
• Inlet diameter(D1) : 76mm
• Outlet diameter(D2) :160.4mm
• Inlet blade angle(β1) : 300
• Outlet blade angle (β 2): 300
• Inlet impeller width (b1): 18mm
• Outlet impeller width(b2) : 10.2mm
• No.of vanes(Z) : 6
The pre processing was done with the rotational velocity of 2810rpm (motor rated) and boundary
conditions were
• Inlet : 1 atm
• Outlet: Duty point mass flow rate (6.05kg/s )

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Studies show there has been few turbulence models that are to be used for centrifugal pump
simulation [6]. Hence most popular turbulence models are selected, they are:
• K-epsilon
• K-epsilon EARMS
• Shear stress Transport model (SST)
These models were tested using Ansys CFX and their results were found.

4.4. Optimization Methods
For the proposed problem, design optimization would be to performed to improve the duty point head
(25m). As described in Section 3.2, since Eq-5 involves nonlinear terms it would be of choice to use
non-traditional optimization techniques. According to the work done in [2], it was identified to use 3
popular solvers namely:
• Genetic algorithm (GA)
• Particle swarm optimization (PSO)
• Pattern search (PS)

4.4.1. Genetic Algorithm
Genetic Algorithm (GA) is a search algorithm based on the conjecture of natural selection and
genetics. The algorithm is a multi-path that searches many peaks in parallel, and hence reducing the
possibility of local minimum trapping. GA works with a coding of parameters instead of the
parameters themselves. The coding of parameter will help the genetic operator to evolve the current
state into the next state with minimum computations. GA evaluates the fitness of each string to guide
its search instead of the optimization function. There is no requirement for derivatives or other
auxiliary knowledge. GA explores the search space where the probability of finding improved
performance is high.

4.4.2. Particle swarm Optimization
Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is a population-based stochastic approach for solving continuous
and discrete optimization problems. In particle swarm optimization, simple software agents, called
particles, move in the search space of an optimization problem. The position of a particle represents a
candidate solution to the optimization problem at hand. Each particle searches for better positions in
the search space by changing its velocity according to rules originally inspired by behavioral models
of bird flocking. Particle swarm optimization belongs to the class of swarm intelligence techniques
that are used to solve optimization problems.

4.4.3. Pattern Search
Pattern search finds a local minimum of an objective function by the following method, called polling.
In this description, words describing pattern search quantities are in bold. The search starts at an initial
point, which is taken as the current point in the first step:
1. Generate a pattern of points, typically plus and minus the coordinate directions, times a mesh size,
and center this pattern on the current point.
2. Evaluate the objective function at every point in the pattern.
3. If the minimum objective in the pattern is lower than the value at the current point, then the poll
is successful, and the following happens:
3a. the minimum point found becomes the current point.
3b. the mesh size is doubled.

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Design and Optimization of Submersible Pump Impeller

3c. the algorithm proceeds to Step 1.
4. If the poll is not successful, then the following happens:
4a. the mesh size is halved.
4b. if the mesh size is below a threshold, the iterations stop.
4c. Otherwise, the current point is retained, and the algorithm proceeds at Step 1.

5. RESULTS & DISCUSSION
5.1. Existing Design Performance Evaluation
With the dimensions of the impeller measured the losses were estimated. The duty point mass flow
rate was given as the outlet boundary condition, CFD analysis was done for the three specified
turbulence models. Following are the result by theoretical and CFD analyses.

Table 1 Losses developed in the impeller
Head Losses
Discharge Theoretical Net Head Head claimed by
(m3/s) Head (m) Circulation Inlet Incident Frictional (m) the industry (m)
head (m) Loss (m) head (m)

0.00605 38.29 14.8634 0.2121 0.0179 23.1967 25
It can be seen that the circulation head contributes to the maximum this is due to the fact that the
speed is taken is constant [8]. Inlet incident loss contributes less, this is because of the fact that, the
whirl velocity involved in the loss (Eq-3), is dependent on the discharge and the same is applicable for
the frictional loss (Eq-4).

5.2. Simulation of Existing Design
From literature [6], it could be found that there are few most common turbulence models used for
centrifugal pump simulation. The existing design was tested for accurate models listed in [6].

Table 2 Turbulence model comparison
Turbulence model Head (m)
K-epsilon 38.22
K-epsilon EARMS 38.15
SST 38.6
From table 2 we find that the K-epsilon model is much closer to the net theoretical head (38.29m),
hence it would be convenient to use the same for simulation purpose of the optimized model.

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A. Joe Ajay and S. Elizabeth Amudhini Stephen

Figure 2 Simulation of existing design
From fig 2, it is evident that the solution has converged properly, And that the head has converged
to the value of 38.22m at the outlet.

5.4. Optimization Computation
The problem described in section 4 is coded in MATLAB and the above mentioned algorithms were
used for optimization. Twenty trails were performed as described in [2]. and the average for each
parameter were taken as the design parameters from the each solver. The net head was calculate for
each parameters from the solvers.

Table 3 GA result table
Trial .No b1 (m) b2 (m) B1 (deg) B2 (deg) Z
1 0.01971 0.011205 32.22278 27.00377 6.99811
2 0.0198 0.011219 31.72584 27.03114 6.998719
3 0.01979 0.011193 32.23771 27 6.994889
4 0.019032 0.011217 32.97973 27.0132 6.999988
5 0.019741 0.011195 29.51032 27.0003 6.99833
6 0.019677 0.011184 30.28991 27.00998 6.997203
7 0.019786 0.011215 32.99356 27 6.998972
8 0.018781 0.011204 32.42831 27.00353 6.989807
9 0.01979 0.011193 32.98755 27.00222 6.992399
10 0.019737 0.011216 32.9468 27.00058 6.998951
11 0.016839 0.011172 32.87619 27.01357 6.999877
12 0.019782 0.011174 32.99054 27.0041 6.990989
13 0.01978 0.011118 32.45682 27.01457 6.99466
14 0.019654 0.011168 32.73113 27 6.999756
15 0.019784 0.011205 32.02996 27.04251 6.996918
16 0.019771 0.011202 32.96209 27.02306 6.998907
17 0.019768 0.011148 32.51205 27.00315 6.997679
18 0.019154 0.011216 32.99998 27.12727 6.998472
19 0.019762 0.011144 32.77239 27 6.99693
20 0.019592 0.011178 31.64257 27.00767 6.998228

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Design and Optimization of Submersible Pump Impeller

0 10 20

7 .0 0 0

6 .9 9 5

Z
6 .9 9 0
2 7 .1 5
B2(deg)
2 7 .1 0

2 7 .0 5

2 7 .0 0
34
33
B1(deg)

32
31
30
29
0 .0 1 1 2 5
b2(m)

0 .0 1 1 2 0

0 .0 1 1 1 5

0 .0 1 1 1 0
0 .0 2 0
b1 (m)

0 .0 1 9
0 .0 1 8
0 .0 1 7

0 10 20
T r a i ls

Figure 3 Performance of Genetic algorithm
From the fig 3 we see that there are not much variations in inlet width and outlet angle parameter
but No.of vanes, outlet width and inlet angle show considerable variations during trail runs.

Table 4 PS result table
Trial. No b1(m) b2(m) B1(deg) B2(deg) Z
1 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
2 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
3 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
4 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
5 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
6 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
7 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
8 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
9 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
10 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
11 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
12 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
13 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
14 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
15 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
16 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
17 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
18 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
19 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6
20 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6

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0 10 20

7

6

Z
5

B2(deg) 3 3 .0
3 1 .5
3 0 .0
2 8 .5
2 7 .0
3 3 .0
B1(deg)

3 1 .5
3 0 .0
2 8 .5
2 7 .0
1 .0
0 .8
0 .6
0 .4
b2(m)

0 .2
0 .0
-0 .2
-0 .4
-0 .6
-0 .8
1 .0
0 .8
0 .6
0 .4
b1(m)

0 .2
0 .0
-0 .2
-0 .4
-0 .6
-0 .8
0 10 20
T r a ils

Figure 4 Performance of Pattern Search algorithm
From Fig 4, it is evident that there has not been any change in the existing design that the Pattern
Search solver identifies and there has not been any change in the head of the pump.

Table 5 PSO result table
Trial. No b1(m) b2(m) B1(deg) B2(deg) Z
1 0.0198 0.01122 32.99999 27 7
2 0.0198 0.01122 33 27 6.999999
3 0.0198 0.01122 33 27 7
4 0.0198 0.01122 32.97518 27 7
5 0.0198 0.01122 32.99998 27 7
6 0.0198 0.01122 32.99998 27 7
7 0.0198 0.01122 32.98641 27 7
8 0.0198 0.01122 33 27 7
9 0.0198 0.01122 32.99998 27 7
10 0.0198 0.01122 32.99999 27 7
11 0.0198 0.01122 33 27 7
12 0.0198 0.01122 32.99837 27.00047 7
13 0.0198 0.01122 32.99995 27 7
14 0.0198 0.01122 33 27 7
15 0.016914 0.011219 33 27 7
16 0.016914 0.01122 32.99999 27.00002 6.999999
17 0.0198 0.01122 32.99998 27 7
18 0.0198 0.01122 32.99999 27 7
19 0.0198 0.01122 33 27 7
20 0.0198 0.01122 32.99992 27.00016 7

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Design and Optimization of Submersible Pump Impeller

0 10 20

7 .0 0 0 0 0 0 0

6 .9 9 9 9 9 9 5

6 .9 9 9 9 9 9 0
2 7 .0 0 0 6

2 7 .0 0 0 4
B2(deg)

2 7 .0 0 0 2

2 7 .0 0 0 0

3 3 .0 0
B1(deg)

3 2 .9 9

3 2 .9 8

3 2 .9 7
0 .0 1 1 2 2 0 0

0 .0 1 1 2 1 9 8

0 .0 1 1 2 1 9 6

0 .0 1 1 2 1 9 4
0 .0 2 0
b1(m)

0 .0 1 9
0 .0 1 8
0 .0 1 7
0 10 20
T r a ils

Figure 5 Performance of Particle swarm Optimization algorithm
From Fig 5, it is identified that there is not been much variations in any of the parameter and the
solver solves more evenly than that of GA and PS, The head for these parameters the head of the pump
increases significantly.

Table 6 Optimized parameters

Inlet Inlet Outlet
Outlet No.of
Method width-b1 angle-β1 angle-β2 Head (m)
width-b2 (m) blades-Z
(m) (deg) (deg)
Existing Design 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6 23.2
GA 0.0195 0.011 32 27 7 29.36
PS 0.018 0.0102 30 30 6 23.2
PSO 0.0195 0.011 33 27 7 29.37
From table 6 it is identified that the parameters by PSO gives the maximum head of 29.37m which
states that there has been an improvement of 26.6% in the head. Hence these parameters are taken for
simulation purposes.

5.4. Theoretical Characteristics of Optimized Design
The parameters from the optimization were used on the mathematical model developed and the losses
are estimated.

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Table 7 Theoretical head of optimized design

Head Loss
Discharge Theoretical
Net Head (m)
(m3/s) Head (m) Circulation Inlet Incident Loss Frictional head
head (m) (m) (m)
0.00605 41.103 11.5677 0.1428 0.0181 29.37

Circulation Loss

Optimized Design

Existing Design

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Loss (m)

Figure 6 Circulation Loss comparisons
From fig 6, it is understood that there is has been significant decrease in the circulation head for
the pump by 22.17%. The decrease is due to the increase in the slip developed in the flow at outlet.

Inlet Incident Loss

Optimized Design

Existing Design

0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25
Loss (m)

Figure 7 Inlet incident loss comparison
From the fig 7, it is seen that there has been decrease in the inlet incident loss, at duty point the
decrease is 32.67%. This is due to the fact that the outlet whirl velocity is dependent on the discharge
and so it is observed as in Eq-3.

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Design and Optimization of Submersible Pump Impeller

Frictional Loss

Optimized Design

Existing Design

0.01780.017850.01790.01795 0.018 0.018050.01810.01815
Loss(m)

Figure 8 Frictional head loss comparison
From the fig 8, it is found that there has been an increase in the friction head, this is due to the fact
that there is a decrement in the outlet angle and at duty point the increase is 1.11%.

5.5. Simulation of the Optimized Design
As described in the section 3.4 k-epsilon turbulence model was used to simulate the model. and it was
found that there is 2.36% improvement in the head.

Figure 9 Simulated result of optimized impeller
This improvement of 2.36% in the head of the pump is mainly due to increased number of vanes
and the increased slip of the flow at the impeller outlet.
The work is wrapped up by comparing the improvement in the performance and the changes in the
parameters. It could be shown in table 8 that the changes in the parameters are within the ±10%
variation [3]. All the means of evaluating the performance has shown the improvement and is listed in
table 9.

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A. Joe Ajay and S. Elizabeth Amudhini Stephen

Table 8 Design parameters of the impeller
Parameters Existing dimension Optimized dimension
Inlet width (m) 0.018 0.0195
Outlet width (m) 0.0102 0.011
Inlet angle (deg) 30 33
Outlet angle (deg) 30 27
No.of blades 6 7

Table 9 Optimized Head
Method Percentage improvement (%)
Theoretical 17.48
Simulation 2.36

6. CONCLUSION
The pump selected had a power rating of 5HP , it was observed that the existing pump can give a duty
point delivery head of 25m and discharge of 0.00605m3/s. It was desired to improve the delivery head
of the pump, hence design optimization was adopted. The impeller dimensions were noted and used in
mathematical model to theoretically calculate the head of the pump. The mathematical model
developed was used as objective function and constrains were the five design parameters with ±10%
from the existing dimensions. Most popular algorithms as specified in [2] were used include: Genetic
algorithm (GA), Particle swarm optimization (PSO), Pattern search algorithm (PS). These algorithms
were run for 20 trails as in [2] and the average of these runs were taken as the optimized value of
design parameters. Among three PSO algorithm gave maximum head of The head was calculated for
these parameters and theoretically it was improved by 17.48%. The changes in losses were:
• Circulation loss decreased by : 22.17%
• Inlet incident loss decreased by 32.67%
• Frictional loss increased by 1.11%
The increase in frictional loss is due to the fact that there is decrease in the outlet angle. Simulation
of the head was done for the pump with K-epsilon model and it was found that there was an
improvement by 2.36% .

Figure 10 Existing impeller

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Design and Optimization of Submersible Pump Impeller

Figure 11 Optimized impeller

Figure 12 Existing and optimized impeller cut section

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